Home > News, Opinion > Outrage over toddler run over by vans followed by passers-by not helping

Outrage over toddler run over by vans followed by passers-by not helping

Video below is a gruesome hit-and-run of a two year-old toddler by two vans in Foshan, Guangdong Province. What is worse is the more than a dozen passers-by simply letting her lying on the street bleeding and not calling for help. This tragedy has gripped the nation; it is all over the news. The two drivers have been arrested. Prior to that, one of the drivers was reported thinking about offering money and not turning himself in. A Chinese netizen lamented:

When you put a price tag on a young person’s life, then human nature has become worthless.

This entire picture feels so wrong. The first driver who hit the toddler actually stopped while the girl was still under his van. He then proceed to drive forward running the rear wheel over the poor child once more. Whether he realizes or not, that is vehicular homicide!

The second driver is disgusting too. How could he not recognize it was a child on the street!

It was finally a woman who collects garbage saw her and helped. The other passers-by either ignored or looked and turned away. Some Chinese netizens are calling for jail time for these passers-by.

And I can understand the Chinese angry at their society. How could all these people be so cruel and heartless?

While the public feels sorry for the girl and her family, I think her parents are partly responsible too. At the time of the accident, the father was tending to his store and the mother collecting laundry. One of them is supposed to have kept her at bay and not let her roam a street where cars run through! Perhaps the Chinese populace has not yet seen enough traffic accident reports.

I cringe too seeing Chinese parents riding a moped zipping down a busy street with a child right in front of them.

Sadness and anger aside, I think (and hope) this tragedy is exception rather than the norm. And the next point I want to get to is with respect to how the ‘West’ reacts to it.

In melektaus‘s most recent article, “Collective Defamation,” he makes the point that the Western media often conflates ‘China’ with all sorts of evils. As this reader at CNN points out:

Predictably, whenever this sort of news report emanates from China, you get the usual anti-Chinese bashers and haters coming out of the woodwork with their tuppence worth of racist generalisation.The story has already been met with indignation by the Chinese themselves and they do not need the holier-than-thou Westerners to preach about what is right and wrong to them.

By the way, this particular CNN article on the story was actually ‘good.’

The mood in the Western media may vary from time to time, but to see what melektaus talks about, we only need to see reader reactions. Below were taken from ABC News as of the writing of this article:

maybe it was because she was a girl WAY TO GO CHINA!.. what goes around comes around. I can’t believe someone would just walk by a little girl who was hurt. I hope they all get what comes to them.

POSTED BY: HANNAH | OCTOBER 17, 2011, 5:37 PM 5:37 PM

Not surprising in China where having a girl child is to be avoided due to the one child policy. That policy alone has resulted in countless abortions of unborn female children so families could try again for a male. If this was a boy child, it is likely there would be a different reaction. Very sad.

POSTED BY: PAT | OCTOBER 17, 2011, 5:38 PM 5:38 PM

I cannot handle people & their behavior these days! Anyone including mom s/b punished some way! Un real!!!:(

POSTED BY: TRACI | OCTOBER 17, 2011, 5:41 PM 5:41 PM

China? They are becoming the next United States of America. Not surprised at all.


Well this is our brave new world, folks, its all about me, me, me. Really she should have lifted herself up brushed off the dead bones and move along. These people always looking for a handout or a free ride, just lazy that’s what it is. Coming to country near you soon, gated home areas, private police for the rich.

POSTED BY: GREG | OCTOBER 17, 2011, 5:43 PM 5:43 PM

I cant elive my eyes, China should be very shamful, I would say they loss face on this, aenrt they supposed to be a much older and wiser society? way togo dummasses, hope Karma bites everyone that drove by that poor lil girl, I know my prayers are withher andher parents.


The popular majority has de-evolved back into animals. They spend most of their time sucking the tit of the government and entertaining their genitals.

POSTED BY: DAVE | OCTOBER 17, 2011, 5:50 PM 5:50 PM

I get joy out of this. This happens to animals everyday, finally some justice it happens to a human and a human child no less, feel the pain humanity. The way you’re feeling right now is the way I feel times 10 when I’m driving down the road behind you and I watch you plow over someones dog or cat without even a second thought.

POSTED BY: RAN | OCTOBER 17, 2011, 5:52 PM 5:52 PM

That’s a typical behavior for most Chinese in China or even Taiwan. I was once outside a train station in Taiwan with my ex’s relatives (they were between 60-70 years old) and saw an old lady that’s obviously needed help getting up from the floor but everyone ignore her. So I went up and tried to help her up but the ex relatives told me to stop and walk away. Why? They think that’s a scam. They think that old lady would tell the cops it’s me that caused her injury and demand for money. Their mentality is don’t involve in “troubles” unless it’s your own business!

POSTED BY: WENDY W | OCTOBER 17, 2011, 5:58 PM 5:58 PM

And that is the culture and type of country that Obama and Bush both said is a model country and one we as former Americans should strive to become. I say Nationalism Turn back into America Grow our country Look out for US the US citizen. Ban the UN, Nationalism made us the greatest super power on earth we the UAa was the greatest nation on earth WHY nationalism.

POSTED BY: CZ | OCTOBER 17, 2011, 6:25 PM 6:25 PM

I recently read about a fatality accident in Texas City, TX where onlookers took out their phones, not to call 911, but to video tape the accidents aftermath and carnage. This behavior is not exclusive to China.

POSTED BY: DIANA | OCTOBER 17, 2011, 6:57 PM 6:57 PM

  1. October 17th, 2011 at 18:36 | #1

    The passers-by’s behavior is a well-known feature of human psychology called the bystander effect, most famously demonstrated in the murder of Kitty Genovese in New York City in 1964.

  2. pug_ster
    October 17th, 2011 at 20:16 | #2


    Excellent point.

  3. October 17th, 2011 at 22:33 | #3

    That’s why I always harped on lacked of “education” in China. I believe most passerbys are afraid and think it is the duty of the next person to help, I do not excuse their behavior though. The old lady who helped happened to be someone who has nothing to lose.

    I know this could also happen in other big cities but we have to do better than that. Does our society need a Good Samaritan law? Not too long ago, some “Good Samaritans” in China was ordered by court to pay compensation to those they have helped. It has caused a big split of opinion too.

    And before we get on our moral high horse, let us seriously do some soul searching and ask whether we ourselves or our friends can do better. I personally know too many people who would be too shocked or afraid to react.

    Anyway, I hope the little girl would turned out fine.


    All in all I think discussing event such as this is good for national development. It is now a national event in China and even on front page news in Chinese language Toronto newspaper.

    PS: The comments you picked mirrored those on Canada’s website. I guess there are always the same village idiots, mean people and clear headed and kind people everywhere.


  4. Nihc
    October 17th, 2011 at 22:39 | #4

    Of all the problems that China have, this one makes me really angry. If people cannot even develop morals and human decency, everything else means nothing. This is just pure horror. There is no excuse, China is a sick society.

  5. silentvoice
    October 17th, 2011 at 22:55 | #5

    The same CNN article you said was “good” had a video where the newscaster brought up the topic of seeing it happen in Egypt as well, and then asking the reporter “Why do you think this happened”.

    The unspoken hint is that China = Egypt and the style of government had something to do with it. Or maybe I’m just being sensitive.

  6. Nihc
    October 17th, 2011 at 23:00 | #6

    I would say the style of government does have something to do with it. When there are so many injustices in the society that people become pretty apathetic to morals. The government and the whole society is at fault.

  7. Charles Liu
    October 17th, 2011 at 23:58 | #7

    Well, are there no good samaritan story in China?

    – Last year a taxi driver rushing into a burining building to save a baby (唐明强)
    – last week a highschool girl saved 3 children from an accident but paralized in the process (陈媚捷)

  8. pug_ster
    October 18th, 2011 at 06:01 | #8



    It is easy to condemn in retrospect about the ‘problem’ in the Chinese society and say “I would never do that.’ Check out what Naqshbandiyya posted about the bystander effect and if what you say is true, the problem in other societies in the US is much worse.

  9. raventhorn
    October 18th, 2011 at 06:03 | #9

    More on the Bystander effect, and a more recent 2010 incident in US.

    I find it rather refreshing that Chinese people can have moral outrage against the apathy among themselves.

    Better than feeling nothing at all about bombing the crap out of some poor remote country for “human rights”.


  10. October 18th, 2011 at 06:23 | #10

    It made the prime news in US. I watched it 2 times. Almost cried every time. This is not an isolated incident that I want to believe.

    It is the worst of public behavior in a civilized society.

    It could be the product of lack of education due to the Cultural Revolution. The parents without good education would have strong effect on the current generation. My theory anyway.

    China has high literacy rate and hope this generation and the next are changing fast and for the better.

    Another instance that internet could change the public behavior of a nation. We do not gain respect on how rich we are but how we behave in public.

  11. October 18th, 2011 at 06:51 | #11

    Or, it could be our culture. Do you remember the poem roughly translated as follows? Only sweep the dirt from your doorstep and do not care much about the snow on the roof of your neighbor’s house.

    When I watched how the passers-by moved the guy under a burning car in US risking their lives, I asked myself would I do it myself. The answer is a shameful ‘no’.

  12. raventhorn
    October 18th, 2011 at 06:51 | #12


    Actually, during the Cultural Revolution, Chinese people tended to help each other MORE. I recall neighbors in my old neighborhood helped each other out, (and even shielded one another during political purges, “sticking together” Chinese style).

    I honestly believe my grandfather would have ended up in jail during the Cultural Revolution if it wasn’t for our neighbors, who vouched for him, even though doing so would have been very risky for them.

    Today, I believe, too many Chinese people are suffering the moral decay of materialism and “none of my business” mentality.

    The same moral decay is causing so many older Chinese to have nostalgia for the days of the Cultural Revolution. (And a come back of Maoist era songs and trinkets).

    But there is no simple solution to the moral decay. Religions are on the rise in China, but religious countries also suffer from such moral decay.

    *In a way, I contribute the problem to the factor of “too much personal freedom” in general.

    We in the modern society have too much personal freedom/liberty and possessions. We enjoy them too much, we depend on them like addicts.

    The consequence of that is, we all super-conscious to the fact that we are responsible for our own individual consequences, and we are suspicious of each other’s motives.

    “Good Samaritanism” requires cooperative actions. You have to believe that OTHERS can have pure selfless motives to help each other.

    Yet, in today’s societies, even in China, people generally believe that personal liberty and possessions are at the expense of others. If I want more, others will have less. (This is true in the West, as well as in China. Though in China, this perception may be less, hence, we still see the moral outrage and nostalgia).

    *We see in the Tea Party, the Wall STreet protests, the European Austerity protests, all marking the same belief, that if one wants even maintain one’s “rights”, it has to be taken from others. Others have too much “privileges”, oneself has not enough.

    This kind of “rights” competition, contributes to apathy.

    Everyone is suspicious. Everyone thinks if they don’t protest for what they want, no one else would help them or “do the right thing”.


    That’s the fundamental question, isn’t it? Can people “do the right thing” without self interest?

    From the way people protests in the West, one can see that they don’t believe it.

  13. October 18th, 2011 at 06:57 | #13

    Good point. My point is on the education. The citizens during the Cultural Revolution had good education. However, the Red Guards did not have good education.

    When we’re richer, we are more selfish and our moral decays more. For this logic, communism is good. However, no one in China wants to return to communism. When we open the window, we have fresh air but we also let some flies in.

  14. raventhorn
    October 18th, 2011 at 07:09 | #14


    I don’t believe education had anything to do with it.

    My old neighbors were all relatively uneducated. My grandfather was relatively educated. But we were all sticking together through the tough times.

    My parents and grandparents’ generation in China simply were less materialistic, because they had very little. Thus, people had less to fight over in general.

    And when they don’t have that much to fight over, there is little point to fight. (The cost of fighting with your neighbors is much higher relative to what you stand to gain). Therefore, people tended to share more at that time.

    When everyone has very little, in possession and in rights, then a person’s moral character becomes a more valuable commodity in the community. Moral character translates into influence, which then translates into ability to get help from others. (The “moral deal makers”).

  15. October 18th, 2011 at 07:21 | #15

    The education the Red Guards lacking are: respect traditions, respect elderly, respect teachers, help your neighbors…

  16. raventhorn
    October 18th, 2011 at 07:27 | #16


    I can’t say that generalization is true for all former “Red Guards”, or even a significant portion of them.

    Many original die hard “Red Guards” went back to schools in the 1980’s, and regretted their own fanaticism during the Cultural Revolution.

    And many of them are the ones who lament the loss of Moral values in China today.

  17. pug_ster
    October 18th, 2011 at 08:22 | #17

    I heard some people complaining about a good Samaritan law that will help, but I doubt that will do anything. My Co-worker told me that one day that he was in a parking lot when he saw two people fighting. My co-worker intervened and he got punched in the face and when the cops come in, he had to go to court to explain what happened. he told me that next time when something like this happened, he would’ve walked away.

    A situation happened to me where I was walking on my way to work and I saw a guy lying down on the sidewalk. I just walked past him and called the police without leaving my name. Heck if I did stayed, I would’ve probably missed a half’s day of work and I will have to go to the legal issues like my co-worker. Besides, even If I decided to stop, what could I do, I am not a doctor.

  18. October 18th, 2011 at 08:28 | #18


    Come on guys. This is nothing new. Read the Good Samaritan story in the Bible.

    To blame it on the CR is simply too simplistic. When I say “education” it is not only the one people get in school, but also from family upbringing and society. In my opinion Chinese society has a lot of weakness but a lot of strength too.

    My point is a lot of people might be tempted to help, but scared of the responsibility. “What if others blame me for knocking down the kid etc.”

    I would say the Cultural Revolution is one of those worse of times and best of time scenario. The red guards being young and self-righteous think they are doing China a big favour by attacking the “old establishment” and “counter revolutionaries”. The situation was worsened by the political under current inside the CCP too, namely the Gang of 4 and Lin Biao. The event cannot be study in isolation, you can’t get a proper picture if you do not study what happened during the Great Leapt (how and why it happened) and during the anti-right movement of the 1950s.

  19. October 18th, 2011 at 08:35 | #19

    朱家酒肉臭, 路有冬死骨。

    Another way to look at this problem is how our society structured as a whole.

  20. raventhorn
    October 18th, 2011 at 08:49 | #20


    I agree. It’s should not be attributed to lack of education or the CR.

    I would say that good morality involves “small acts of kindness”, that is all. We shouldn’t do too much for one another, or we risk turning each other into overdependent children or passing moral judgment on each other. And we shouldn’t go toward apathy.

    Look at it this way. Even evil men like Hitler, thought they were doing good for the People and their society.

    When you believe you have the right and the obligation to do a great deal to help others, you are (1) passing personal judgment that others cannot do what you do, (2) passing judgment that what you believe is “good” is “good for others”, even if they don’t necessarily agree with you.

    Look at the “Human Rights” activists. Everyone of them believe earnestly that they are “good Samaritans”. Thus, they find it hard to believe that their help might not be wanted or appreciated.

    But despite it all, they keep going, because they believe it’s ultimately “good for” others, whether appreciated or not.

    In other words, their belief in the “good” END justifies whatever “means”.

    *I prefer “small acts of kindness”, simply because they are the MOST often unexpected acts of insignificance. No one expects you to do it, and there is often no rewards. But that also means, you are not necessarily out to change the world.

    Good morality, is doing good, without passing moral judgment on others.

    Changing the World is not good morality. It’s ONLY some people’s morality over other people’s morality.

  21. silentvoice
    October 18th, 2011 at 10:10 | #21

    Certainly it shows the failure of education. It’s ironic that this happened in a society known for Confucius thinking that stressed the importance of “仁“ and Buddhism that stresses “慈悲“. I do believe Confucius education was neglected until the early 90s but the government is trying to pick up on that now, am I right? Maybe those living in China can verify.

  22. October 18th, 2011 at 11:04 | #22

    Ray, I agree that we should not blame the Red Guards as they’re young and innocent. I would put the blame on the government at the time to motivate the young for their political agenda. The destruction of the ‘old stuffs’ is irreversible. China loses educating the young for one generation with closing schools and universities for a prolonged period.

    We should learn from history and not to repeat the bad history. China is doing rightfully to prosecute the drivers and publicizes the incident.

    Silentvoice, I agree with the failure of education. Education is not just a tool to get a good job, but also teaches us how to be a good human being and a good citizen.

  23. Nihc
    October 18th, 2011 at 11:05 | #23

    Guys, its one thing to stop a fight. Its another thing to let a child die on the road side.

    This is not about ‘minding your own business’. Or even about human rights. This is about doing the right thing. This is about valuing human life.

    This isn’t even about being educated. The only person who did the right thing in that situation was the poor lady who helped the child.

    Even if you are personally unwilling to get involved. The correct thing to do here is to call an ambulance and the police. None of those 18 passerby even stop to do it. They deserved nothing less than the utmost contempt from the world. They disgust me.

    The fact is that the heart of many Chinese people is now completely devoid of morality. Whether due to the rot in the system. Or the abandonment of Confucian ethics. (Chinese people are not religious to begin with, and it seemed to have gotten to the point where the only thing people worship now is money.)

    It could be a sign of the complete rot within the legal system. I mean this isn’t the only screwed up thing that is happening in China. What about the cases where businessmen are completely willing to go as far as use gutter oil for reconsumption. What about those who are willing to physically enslaved their workers to work in the kilns. The society have become deeply sick. And the rot probably have started all the way from the Communist Party. The fact that the justice system is now completely money oriented placing a low emphasis on human life.

    What is the point of development and money if you can’t even ensure a basic decency?

    Everyone need to have a good think about what the Chinese society have become, rather than point fingers to say oh, other people does even worse. (You really want to compare yourselves to people who commit atrocities now?). The thing is Chinese people still claim to have 5000 years of civilization. Right now I don’t even see this as remotely ‘civilized’.

    As an overseas Chinese, I am really ashamed for you guys.

  24. October 18th, 2011 at 11:33 | #24

    Not to trivalize the issue. If you take a trip to a poor neighbourhood in India, you could actually see dying old people, sick children by the road side. I don’t even want to mention the underaged prostitutes abused mainly by men from rich countries in Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia etc. So is it democracy to blame here?

    It is so easy to blame blame blame. Ask yourself how you could help or do better.

    So what are you going to do for this kid? Talk is cheap.

  25. October 18th, 2011 at 11:42 | #25

    So a rich democratic society like the US, Canada, Norway dropping bombs hundred meters from children playground is acceptable?

    How many women, and children have died by NATO ordanence on the deliberate attack on Libya to oust MG to control the oil?

    And the society that produced up to 10 times the waste and pollution is something to be proud of? I guess when you are rich, it is morally right to kill people and waste food. This is your argument all along. It add nothing to solving any problem.

    This incident actually raised another point that I always want to address but never got the chance. I believe around 80,000 people got killed in trafic accident yearly in China. I actually see this as a bigger problem.

  26. October 18th, 2011 at 11:45 | #26

    Earlier in the year, I was in China where I saw a child with his legs basically broken, and he was crawling through the walk-way begging for money with a white metallic cup. I am guessing the boy was probably 10 or 11 years old.

    Instead of just giving him some change, I wonder now if the right thing for people to do was to find him shelter.

    To Ray’s point about people expecting the next passer-by to help – or actually, thanks to Naqshbandiyya’s link to the ‘passer by effect’ – I think that is at play here too. The more people accept that situation being what it is, then everyone is peer-pressured (or simply their observation of others thinking it normal lead them) into believing a handicapped 10 year-old begging is ‘fine.’

    Now, in China, society responded with respect to kidnapped children forced to beg. Netizens and police teamed up where people take photos of these children whenever they see them and post online for parents of missing children to look at. Some children were saved through this netizen/police collaboration. Based on what I read, the recovery from traditional police work was still the most effective.

    Yesterday, I was at dinner with friends and children. Outside the restaurant I noticed a man smoking marijuana. We could smell it from inside the restaurant. I noticed him following the occasional people who walked to their cars. The way he was fixated on the persons he was following was just creepy. I was afraid he was high and was about to do something stupid. So, I called the police.

    Now I am wondering why I called the police yesterday and why I didn’t do more regarding the child beggar in China.

  27. October 18th, 2011 at 11:49 | #27

    Nihc is angry at the situation, which is understandable. Of course, Ray is right.

  28. Nihc
    October 18th, 2011 at 11:49 | #28

    //It is so easy to blame blame blame. Ask yourself how you could help or do better.//

    I said before, the right thing to do is called the ambulance or the police. There was nothing else those people needed to do. Is that really too much to ask?

    //I don’t even want to mention the underaged prostitutes abused mainly by men from rich countries in Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia etc. So is it democracy to blame here?//

    You really want to compare China to them now? Are you really more concerned about the ‘face’ of China than the life of a child?

    By the way, I actually grew up in Thailand. And even I don’t think they would have sunk as low. But I knew they were more civilized in many respect already.

  29. wuming
    October 18th, 2011 at 12:07 | #29


    As outraged as we all are by the incident, your blanket accusation is beyond the pale. In a nation of 1.3 billion almost anything can and will happen. Deriving general condemnations from each single criminal occurrence will assign any people to eternal hell. Who are you to play god?

    I don’t know which of the seas you are over. From where I am in US, I would hesitate launch any such “collective defamation”. After all, I am a citizen of a country where political corruption is encoded in law, worldwide pillage of wealth is the normal function of its “financial service sector” and let’s not even get into how may “moral wars” our country is fighting in our behalf.

    Maybe it is possible to live in a small and homogeneous country like Sweden, where such atrocities are indeed thing of the past (the lone gunman not withstanding.) But the fact is if we all decide to move there, it will be full of the revolting dark sides as China and US. So be a little humble, it is the starting point of being civilized.

  30. October 18th, 2011 at 12:12 | #30

    I am as outraged as you. Problem is to blame the society as a whole and the government is actually skirting the issue. The communist leadership actually tried to solve China’s society ill by using the anti-right movement and cultural revolution, and we know how well they turned out.

    I use the under aged prostitutes as an example. Why do morally correct people allowed rampant under aged prostitution to happen in those countries. Are the moral of the whole country totally screwed up? What about the political system? The reality is a little more complicated than that, isn’t it?

    I am not concern about face, I am concern about children being abused sexually and knowingly. I frequent those countries and I find it shocking but what can I do? The locals see it as a way out of poverty, and the corrupt officials are complicit and take a cut from the trade. I really don’t understand your argument that “they” were more civilized. The incident that happened at Tak Bai proved that man’s cruelty towards another can be a bit too much.

    Call me a realist but I believe all human are the same within. We act according to the society norm as best we could. I totally agree with you that at least those passerby can call an ambulance. However, unless there is a good Samaritan law in place, we can’t say they have broken the law. They are morally wrong but bear no legal responsibility at this stage. So my question is, should this be made into a law?

    yinyang gave a good example of how he didn’t know how to act when confronted by the disabled child beggar.

  31. October 18th, 2011 at 12:21 | #31

    The reason I’ve used Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and to a lesser extent Malaysia as examples are because those countries on theory are already democracy. They have a universal suffrage system, freedom of press, a capitalist system. However, if you are to compare them using social development index, they could be in many ways behind China.

    I am not trying to deflect the issue or be an apologist for the ills of China but I have seen enough examples of failed system to blindly adopt it. Please don’t take this as a personal attack on you or your country of birth.

  32. Charles Liu
    October 18th, 2011 at 12:48 | #32

    I’m not sure if this case is the norm or reflection of China and its history. The truth is you don’t see stuff like this every day, not even in China (may it be heroics or wanton disregard.)

  33. Nihc
    October 18th, 2011 at 12:55 | #33


    //In a nation of 1.3 billion almost anything can and will happen//

    Is that a good rationale? How about this, 18 passerby did nothing, only one lady did, when she request assistance from the neighbors, she was told to mind her own business. By statistical sampling, we can imply that over 95% of the population is without a conscience.

    Seriously, when you have callousness of such a scale is only a symptoms of a morally deficient society. Caused by something systematic or blind worship of money.

    //I use the under aged prostitutes as an example. Why do morally correct people allowed rampant under aged prostitution to happen in those countries. Are the moral of the whole country totally screwed up? What about the political system? The reality is a little more complicated than that, isn’t it?//

    Look, your example is not the same at all. Its really difficult for an individual to solve an issue such as prostitution or poverty. But for all those people neglected to do their even a shred of their human duty.

    //The reason I’ve used Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and to a lesser extent Malaysia as examples are because those countries on theory are already democracy. They have a universal suffrage system, freedom of press, a capitalist system. However, if you are to compare them using social development index, they could be in many ways behind China.//

    I have never claim that democracy is inherently better or whatever. After all I know what those societies I have lived in are like. Each with their own issues. But seriously, nothing have ever pissed me off as much as this. If it was only the hit and run driver that would be excusable. But 18 passer by. One of which is a mother with a child or her own. Its completely fucked up. They should all go to jail. The mother is not fit to take care of a child.

    What makes it even more sick is the place is named Foshan, Buddha Mountain. When the locals of a district named after the Buddha is like that, you can only imagine what the rest are like. And its not like its a poor district in China. This is Guangdong, one of the wealthiest part of China.

    In fact, your excuses for the society pissed me off just as much.

  34. pug_ster
    October 18th, 2011 at 13:19 | #34



    How do you know that someone didn’t call the police? It didn’t say in the video, it takes some time before the police or ambulance to respond, no? Besides, maybe people didn’t respond because many people would think that the child’s parents would be running towards the child, which they didn’t.

  35. October 18th, 2011 at 15:04 | #35

    So your conclusion is that it is the worship of money that caused this? Do you have the same conclusion for the happening in other countries I mentioned too. And how can you decide who is to go to jail? On what charge?

    I am more concern now with how to prevent the repeat of the same incident in the future. What you are doing right now is trying to vent your anger and assign blame. Too bad it is not going to solve any problem. Like I have said around 80,000 people got killed in road accident yearly in China. If you are angry with the examples I have used. Tell me how you feel, right now knowing that thousands of kids are being sexually abused at this very moment, which is sort of being condoned by the world from the rich tourist to the local government and family?

    I am not going to pretend there is no problem with Chinese society (or the world as a whole) but attacking the society as a whole all the way to the government solve no issues. Things have to be tackle with specific countermeasure one or two at a time for it to work. A repeat of the cultural revolution is no cure.

    You might as well said that Foshan is the home of Wong Fei Hong and everybody should be chivalrous or a martial artists. I totally agree with the saying that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. Again what concrete step do you suggest we take?

  36. October 18th, 2011 at 15:14 | #36

    I was gonna make the same point the first poster did about the bystander effect. This effect is well documented in all societies in which experiments have been conducted and there are very famous examples. Recently a bum was stabbed when he tried to help a woman from being mugged and this was caught on camera in NY and he was left bleeding on the sidewalk and 25 people walked by without helping the dude. He died. One person took a cellphone photo of the man as he was dying. This man walked by and never reported it or called the police.


  37. October 18th, 2011 at 15:20 | #37

    There’s also the famous case of the two boys that went into a Las Vegas bathroom following a little girl. One of the boys started to rape the little girl and drowned her in the toilet. The other kid did nothing to stop it and never reported the crime. He never was apologetic over it and felt remorse.

  38. October 18th, 2011 at 15:34 | #38

    I also think that moral education is necessary for a society. It’s not enough for kids to know the basics, they need to be taught a moral education as well.

  39. October 18th, 2011 at 15:45 | #39

    This is another instance of the bystander effect in the US:

    a 78 yo man is hit by a hit and run driver while the other drivers simply drive by his body.


  40. Charles Liu
    October 18th, 2011 at 15:51 | #40


    I think this tragedy is turning into a teachable moment in China, hopefully some good will come out of it:

    “Message of Caring Pour In For Yueyue”

    “Yueyue’s Rescuer Refuses Reward”

    BTW, someone did call the police. The scrap lady said Gongan did show up to help locate the parents.

    Scrap Lady Donates Reward To Girl”

  41. October 18th, 2011 at 15:53 | #41

    ^^^That’s good to hear, Charles.

  42. pug_ster
    October 18th, 2011 at 16:03 | #42

    Yeah, notice that Western Propaganda never did once described the bystander effect in this situation.


    This video actually had a psychotherapist who described this situation correctly.

  43. raventhorn
    October 18th, 2011 at 16:07 | #43


    I remember this incident. Very sad. Not much outrage in US though. Even more sad.

  44. perspectivehere
    October 18th, 2011 at 18:25 | #44

    “Road crashes kill 260,000 children a year, injure about 10 million and are the leading cause of death among 10-19 year olds.(BBC) Most accidents happen in developing countries with the lions share in South-East Asia and Africa.”

    See Death in developing countries: The role of road accidents
    APRIL 1, 2011

    Also see:
    Road Traffic Accidents Increase Dramatically Worldwide

    Road accident injuries is a “silent epidemic” in the developing world. The problem is rapid growth of car use, coupled with inappropriate land use along roads (culture of people living alongside roads who are not used to cars).

    If anything good will come out of this incident, it will be to highlight awareness to people of proper do’s and don’ts: a toddler should not be left unattended along a street where cars go. If this is a market area, then authorities might put in a car-free pedestrian zone, or speed bumps. There are basic traffic and road management things that can be done to reduce road accidents.

    A key conclusion from the first article linked above:

    “Fatality rates in developing countries are 25-30 per 10,000 vehicles, compared to 1 to 2 per 10,000 vehicles in rich nations” (World Bank). These statistics are particularly significant because this ratio (number of fatalities per vehicle) is set to increase as the country develops economically (yes, economic growth won’t do the job to reduce the death toll and yes economic growth can have some side effects). Why? The rate of economic growth usually outstrips the capacity of the state to adjust its infrastructure. So with “rapid urbanisation, increased transit traffic on corridor roads, and increased mobility leading to a rapid increase in inexperienced road users” road-accidents related deaths will increase.

    So what are governments in developing countries doing? Not much. Why? The WB expert Blyss explains here that the phenomenon is invisible as the insidious loss of lives is slow. Historic evidence shows that developed countries took 40 years to reduce the fatality rate to 1 per 10,000 vehicles. Will developing countries have to wait so long? Not necessarily. As Gerschenkron recognized a long time ago, the advantage of the late comers is to leap frog in the process of development. One does not have to go through all the phases of trial and error, one can just copy what worked. The assistance of developed countries to strengthen the capacity of DCs to make road safer would, according to the WB, shorten the learning curve.”


    China needs more technical assistance and investment in this area. This incident highlights the need for government to take the steps needed to reduce road accidents to pedestrians. This is a major “public health” issue and the right resources must be put into it. Otherwise it remains a continuing, “invisible epidemic”.

  45. perspectivehere
    October 18th, 2011 at 18:45 | #45

    There is no lack of informative articles easily searchable on the internet. Plug in “road accidents or injuries in developing countries” and lots of articles appear.

    This is one area in which overseas people who are interested in improving the lives of ordinary chinese people can have a huge impact. This is not rocket science, but more a problem of coordinating planning, education, technical expertise, and enforcement.


    If I were an out-of-work systems engineer in a western country, I would re-tool myself to become a traffic accident consultant and go to China and Vietnam. Lots of need for these services, and many lives depend on it.


  46. Wahaha
    October 18th, 2011 at 20:44 | #46

    [quote]What about those who are willing to physically enslaved their workers to work in the kilns. The society have become deeply sick. And the rot probably have started all the way from the Communist Party. The fact that the justice system is now completely money oriented placing a low emphasis on human life.[/quote]


    If remove “from Communist Party” from your comments, it is more like you are talking about Thailand than about China. Do you know how many child labors in Thailand ? how many in Brazil ? and how many in India ?

    What the heck is “justice system is now completely money oriented” ? Did it go through your brain or not ? In China, at least both the rich and government officers are punished if found corruption, not like Taiwan. With the level of corruption in Thailand, can you name some rich who were punished for bribing ?

    BTW, you must know Fan PaoPao. Do you know that Southern Daily claimed with straight face that it was his (human) right to leave his students when the earthquake started ?

    Every normal Chinese feels sad and angry on this tragedy, but dont use it for your own purpose.

    and Politics is dirty, try your best to keep it from morality.

  47. JJ
    October 18th, 2011 at 23:14 | #47

    @ Nihc & others who feel this is the result of general Chinese “culture”

    Do you guys also feel the same thing about the US? Because the exact same situation has been happening in recent years.

    For example, like others have mentioned:

    #1. Just last year in New York, 25 people walked past a man who was stabbed and bleeding to death. One guy even took a picture before moving along.

    #2. In Seattle in January, a 15-year-old girl was brutally beaten, knocked unconscious and robbed by a group of teenagers while three security guards stood by and watched.

    #3. In Hartford, Conn., a 78-year-old man was hit by a car as he crossed a street in 2008. The driver never stopped. A total of 10 vehicles drove by as he laid in the middle of the road, bleeding from the head.

    #4. And in Washington, D.C., in 2003, a man was shot at a gas station. Instead of calling for help, the witness finished pumping kerosene into a can, paid and drove off.

    More here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/dying-homeless-man-stopped-mugging-sidewalk/story?id=10471047

    So, based on these incidents, do you guys also conclude that American “culture” is depraved and that Americans are just like Chinese folks?

  48. October 19th, 2011 at 04:33 | #48

    This basically comes down to community awareness. Many are simply not conscious of what to do in these situations. Not to mention community/social services such as ambulance and emergency services are still relatively few and quite under developed even in urban areas. People simply don’t know what they are suppose to do, especially where poverty is common — if beggars are a common sight to your environment, you eventually stop paying attention to them. Begging children are quite common in China, they are not hard to ignore. People so concerned about “moral crisis” would be the first to ignore these kids. The fact is that public awareness is low and people are genuinely ignorant as to how to deal with unusual/emergency situations. No point waxing moral outrage, but of course nothing happens in China without it being politicized by every man and his dog.

  49. MalaysianAlong
    October 19th, 2011 at 08:21 | #49

    To yinyang.

    From the article I read in Malay ( I will translate to English)


    Ye, benar2 kawan2. JANGAN TOLONG! Nak tahu kenapa? Sebabnya bila kau tolong, orang itu dah menjadi tanggungjawab engkau. Contohnya, kau nak tolong makcik yang jatuh basikal tu, katakan makcik tu patah kaki, maka ko yang kena tanggung sume kos perubatan die sbb ko yang tolong dia…

    “Yes it is true my friends. NEVER HELP! The reason why? If you help someone, that person is become your responsible. Example, if an aunty fell from bike, let’s say she suffered fractured leg, thus it become helpers responsible and the medical cost is bear by the helper because you helped her.”

    Ataupun ko akan disaman oleh anak makcik tu sbb ko lah penyebab mak die jatuh…Inilah faktanya di China. Nilai moral dah takde. Mereka akan pentingkan diri sendiri sbb kalau mereka tolongpun mungkin mereka yang akan tanggung akibatnya…

    “Or you will be filed lawsuit by it’s family members because the helper is caused her fell. That’s the fact in China. Moral is worth nothing. They are selfish eventhough they helped you that might will bear the worst consiquences.

    Dalam akhbar tu penulis bagitau ada seorang askar (kalau tak silap aku) menolong seorang tua yang terjatuh secara tiba2.. Kerana prihatin takde org lain nak tolong maka askar ni pon naklah bantu tapi anak org tua ni nampak die pegang mak die so die tuduh askar ni yang tolak mak dia. So askar ni kena saman dan terpaksa menanggung kos perubatan org tua tu..

    “In the newspaper (Malaysian Chinese Language Newspaper), the columnist wrote that a Chinese Army (If not mistaken) helping that old lady which fell suddenly. Because of caring and no one helping, he helped that old lady but her family member saw that army helping her. Her family members accusing the army shoving her and he was lost in lawsuit and paying her medical expenses.

    Akibatnya die kena buang kerja. Jadi kes budak yang kena langgar ni pun sama.Baik biarkan jek budak tu sbb kalau tolong and jadi pape yang lebih teruk kat budak tu, diorang yang kena tanggung.

    “The consequences is he got fired disgraced. So the similar case for this toddler run over . Better leave them because if getting worse, they have to bear worst than ever.”

    Nak tahu tak apa yang pemandu van tu cakap pasal die langgar budak perempuan tu? Mula2kan die dah terlanggar budak tu and die berhenti kejap sbb perasan die langgar budak. Masa tu budak tu berada di tgh2 antara tayar depan dan belakang. Die terfikir kalau budak tu mati, die cuma perlu bayar denda lebih kurang RMB10,000- RMB20,000 je tapi kalau budak tu hidup die kena tanggung akibatnya seumur hidup so die teruskan langgar budak tu dengan harapan budak tu akan mati. Itulah undang2 di China yang mana kalau langgar mati lebih senang nak kira drpd langgar hidup. So sekarang pemandu van tu sangat berharap yang budak kecik ni akan mati..

    “To know why that van driver run over that toddler? At beginning, he ran over and stop for a while because he noticed that he ran over that girl. That girl was between in the middle of tyres. He thought that if that girl died in accident, he have to pay 10,000-20,000 Yuan only but if that toddler survive, he have to pay expenses for the rest of his life. He hoped that girl died. That’s the rule in China where death of run over is easier than survived. So far, the driver hoping that girl is died.

    Kesimpulannya, di mana saja, manusia semakin hilang pertimbangan diri.

    “The conclusion, Humans getting insane and selfish although trying to help”

    In Malay proverb, Bagai melepaskan anjing tersepit.

    In English, “Releasing a dog from trouble” Means that dog is a fierce animal, when rescuing dog it will bark at you and even attacked by a dog. It also means helping is meaningless!

    The good person is scapegoated because selfishness among people. Selfishness kills society and nation.

  50. raventhorn
    October 19th, 2011 at 08:26 | #50


    Philadelphia Dungeon for mentally disabled case.

    I await for the outrage.

  51. MalaysianAlong
    October 19th, 2011 at 09:24 | #51


    Mistake translation at “To know why that van driver run over that toddler?”

    Actual translation: “To know what is the driver said about he ran over that toddler?”

    Additional translation: “Die terfikir kalau budak tu mati, die cuma perlu bayar denda lebih kurang RMB10,000- RMB20,000 je tapi kalau budak tu hidup die kena tanggung akibatnya seumur hidup so die teruskan langgar budak tu dengan harapan budak tu akan mati.”

    The Translation: “The driver tought that if that toddler died, he only need to pay fine between 10,000-20,000 Yuan but if that toddler survived, the driver must bear the consequences the rest of his life so the driver keep run over that toddler with hope that toddler died.”

    Additional notes :

    “Jadinya kalau sampai di China ingatlah pesan aku ni…

    JANGAN TOLONG kecuali family ko sendiri…”


    “If went to China, please remember my warning…

    DON’T HELP except your own family member…”

    NOTE: This is an informal Malay language.

  52. October 19th, 2011 at 14:30 | #52

    Thank you very much for the Malaysian article and your translation. It’s always nice to hear different perspectives.

    Indeed, Chinese society has recognized the problem with good Samaritans being wrongly accused when in fact they were helping. Some interesting development:


    Looks like the Guangdong local government is using Weibo to solicit input from the population to tackle that very issue.

  53. MalaysianAlong
    October 20th, 2011 at 03:22 | #53

    To yinyang

    From China Daily http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-10/20/content_13937427.htm

    I belive that paranoid and phobia is the cause the toddler isn’t helped. Good Samaritan law must be enforced.

    The reason is that trust is always involved with crime rate and honesty. High trust is having low crime rate and honesty is a priority. Low trust because high crime rate and many people are dishonest.

    I believe Chinese have a good heart but trust and mentality remain an issue. Many Third World Countries (including my country) suffered trust issue because high crime rate and dishonest act (such as disguising a beggar).

  54. Wahaha
    October 20th, 2011 at 09:36 | #54

    Why didnt they use the camera on their cell phone, to record how they helped the kid ?

    That is what I would do if I was there.

  55. October 21st, 2011 at 08:17 | #55

    raventhorn :http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-504083_162-10009860.html
    Philadelphia Dungeon for mentally disabled case.
    I await for the outrage.

    Like I’ve said, Chinese society has many weakness but even more strength. The attention this inccident got in China showed that people are genuinely concerned and outraged. They need to improve existing system and law to make things better.

    For example, if there is a universal health care system in place. Nobody would fear the liabilty of being wrongly saddled with the medical costs.

    Deng Xiaoping once said that “If you have a bad system in place, you will make good people into bad people.”

  56. Wahaha
    October 21st, 2011 at 09:58 | #56

    For example, if there is a universal health care system in place. Nobody would fear the liabilty of being wrongly saddled with the medical costs.


    This is impossible in a developing country, unless back to Mao’s time when you spent 6 years in medical school, then came out making the same amount of money as a construction worker.

    Also, to accomplisht that, government must have power to suppress the unreasonable demands, otherwise, the cost of seeing a doctor ,insurance fees and producing new pills will be skyrocking, which of course, will be paid by government or people. Not even rich countries can afford if 10% of the population are poor.

  57. Charles Liu
    October 21st, 2011 at 10:45 | #57

    Well, the little girl is gone, hopefully not forgotten.

  58. October 21st, 2011 at 12:32 | #58

    I think you are being too pessimistic, the word impossible is too strong a word. Remember Napoleon’s quote on that word. When Malaysia has a per capita GDP of $2000, it already has a universal health care system. You must bear in mind that China has a its own system where the state control the education system and the most profitable business like bank, natural resources and utilities. Six years of tertiary medical school is after all still just an education, how much does it cost? I would say using China’s current system it wouldn’t be more than $50,000.

    In China, a doctor making RMB 120,000 ($19,000) would be considered high pay. I do not see China having junior doctor making starting salary of $60,000-80,000 like most developed country for at least 20-30 yrs. In those countries, nearly half of the salary goes back to the government as tax. China can easily introduce a tax free salary scheme for its doctors and nurses.

    Basically what I want to say is, the result you get is how smartly you work with your limited resources, the US spent nearly 20% on health care but at least half the people are not covered, in Canada, the expenditure is just 10% but everybody is covered. In China the government is now regulating the costs of medicine. Universal health care is going to be a reality soon in China. I have argued that a portion of the overseas forex holding should instead be use to invest in medical and engineering school for precisely this reason. It is investment that will pay off. When you have excess capacity price will drop, and foreigners can even come to China for health care and excess engineering capacity used for development in other developing countries.

    And what about all those highly profitable state own enterprises? The govn’t should have a specific medical/education tax for those companies. From what I see, China today already have the resources to do a universal medical and education coverage. It depends on how to push through the reform and how to utilize those resources.

  59. October 21st, 2011 at 12:33 | #59

    @Charles Liu
    I know. It would take a mircacle for an adult to survive two accidents. It is too late for Wang Yue but there is hope for many others.

  60. scl
    October 21st, 2011 at 20:20 | #60

    China really needs to improve and strictly enforce the child protection law. Prosecution of the little girl’s parents for negligence would be a good start. Anyone caught begging with a child should be arrested immediately. Child welfare is really the minimal requirement to establish a civil society.

    Universal health care alone will not be enough for China. Single-payer is also needed. The fastest, easiest and cheapest way to achieve this is to make all healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, dentists etc civil servants, with their basic salaries paid by taxpayers. The majority of hospitals has to be public and funded with taxpayer money. Actually, all teachers and school workers up to senior high should be civil servants too.

  61. October 23rd, 2011 at 06:57 | #61

    China needs to set up laws to protect Samaritans. We need to learn our lessons, so the child did not die for nothing. My summary:

  62. October 25th, 2011 at 11:51 | #62
  63. October 31st, 2011 at 11:08 | #63

    A good legal, moral discussion of this issue in Chinese.


  64. November 11th, 2011 at 16:40 | #64

    More bystander effect in the news. This time the observer and others notified of a case of child rape on a campus locker room did report it but did nothing to pursue the matter after it had been buried by the campus police.


  65. zack
    November 11th, 2011 at 16:43 | #65

    ” i just don’t understand how Americans can be so heartless and cruel as to allow child rape; it just goes to show that their pursuit of capitalism has emptied their souls of any human goodness”

  66. raventhorn
    November 12th, 2011 at 10:03 | #66


    Must be the current ongoing “American Cultural Revolution” waged by the 2 Oligarchical Parties Totalitarian system that care nothing about the human lives, and more interested in protecting the “Corporations as People”.

    Seriously, I don’t think I’m the only one here seeing the parallels.

  67. zack
    November 12th, 2011 at 22:14 | #67

    ever notice how when a primarily caucasian, english speaking ‘western’ country does it, it’s seen by the presses for what it is; a tragic event but when the same thing happens in a very unWestern China and a China that refuses to kowtow to Western values, then it’s because the Chinese are morally inferior, are in desperate need for conversion to democracy, are in desperate need for westernisation from the white man’s burden but it is a burden which the noble white man will undertake, yes even though all those corporate profits do burden him

  68. raventhorn
    November 13th, 2011 at 11:48 | #68

    There is a new word I just coined for that:


  69. June 4th, 2012 at 18:57 | #69

    Do human all react the same in big cities?

    Commuters ignore schoolboy who collapsed at train station


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